Facing Samoa’s heat every day
For Nora Tuliese, from the village of Tufulele-Uta, her life consists of many long walks in the sun.
Age 39, despite her village road being in a very bad state, she makes her way to the main road to pick and drop off her children to and from school every day.
The problem with living where she lives is that the buses schedule doesn’t match well with the peoples schedule and taxis refuse to make the trip up to the area.
And according to Nora, those lucky enough to own a car won’t be lucky for long because the cars will be ruined very fast after a few cruises along the village road.
“As you can see, our road here is really bad,” she said.
“I am concerned with the children who have to walk back home from school. In the morning is not that bad because it’s not too hot but the road is an issue.”
“We do have a bus that comes on our road but it comes back before the children finish school. They have no other choice but to walk back home.”
“I have to take my children every day because I get worried. No matter how hot the sun is, I have to walk still.”
With transport options being very limited, the foot-mobile is the popular choice for villagers living in the area. The only concern is the risks the children are exposed to when walking.
“That’s the biggest problem with living far away from the main road,” she said.
“Bus schedules not matching up with the children’s schooling, and without cars we have no other choice but to walk and get hammered by the hot sun every single day.”
“Sometimes the children would wait around near the main road for the late bus to come in the evening; it’s not safe for them to wait down there so that’s why I go down myself to get them.”
“We also need our road to be fixed because not many taxis want to drive up here because of its state.”
Nora jokingly said that every car introduced to the road will end up being in the same state as the road.
“The funny thing is, it doesn’t matter if we get a car,” she said.
“With a road in this state, the car will be ruined in no time then we are right back where we left off; walking in the hot sun.”
“It’s not easy walking this far.”
Aside from transport issues, another problem is the dust from the road.
“Another problem with having a road like this is the dust,” Nora said.
“When cars come up and down or if the wind blows then the dust goes everywhere. It ruins our washing we hang outside and it causes children walking alongside the road to inhale the dusty air from both the road and cars.”
“We really need to fix our roads. We have made so many requests to the government but right up till now, we don’t know where our request has gone.”
“I am tired of signing requests and yet nothing comes. This has been our life for 10 years now.”